Bevy of top-tier draft picks help Cleveland Browns win draft in AFC North

The Browns' talent level got an immediate upgrade when the team selected Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku in the first round of the NFL draft. Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports

Which team in the AFC North helped itself the most in the draft?

Jeremy Fowler, Pittsburgh Steelers reporter: The Browns take heat with every loss, but let’s heap credit where due: They had a solid draft. Because of their work in the first two rounds, especially, the Browns get the edge over the offensive-heavy Bengals for the most-helpful draft of the division. The Ravens and Steelers produced solid, if unspectacular, drafts by getting key defensive help. The Bengals suddenly look more explosive on offense with Joe Mixon and John Ross, who might be a reach at No. 9 overall. But the Browns got the best player in the draft by a wide margin (Myles Garrett), an explosive hybrid safety (Jabrill Peppers), arguably the most athletic tight end in the draft if a bit raw (David Njoku) and the quarterback some coaches feel has the most NFL-transferable throwing skills (DeShone Kizer). Fill in the later rounds with potential role players, and the Browns can sell some promise.

Jamison Hensley, Baltimore Ravens reporter: The Bengals. Character and health concerns aside, the Bengals got tremendously faster on offense with their first two picks, wide receiver John Ross and running back Joe Mixon. Cincinnati, which already has A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert, is starting to rival Pittsburgh for the most offensive playmakers in the division. The Bengals then addressed their need at pass rush with the next two selections, getting two defenders who once were considered first-round talents in Jordan Willis and Carl Lawson. Yes, it's a high-risk draft for the Bengals. But it's also a high-reward one as well.

Pat McManamon, Cleveland Browns reporter: Shouldn't it be logical that the team with the first pick and five in the top 65 would have a strong draft? The Browns had that, at least on paper, and the fact that they did not overthink the situation was a good sign. Taking defensive end Myles Garrett first overall was smart, and Garrett's attitude seems to ooze anything but entitlement, which is a good thing. They also added two more first-round picks (safety Jabrill Peppers and tight end David Njoku) and a defensive tackle (Larry Ogunjobi) with potential in the third. But the key pick came in the second round, when the Browns added a big, strong-armed quarterback in DeShone Kizer. He has much room to grow, but adding him gives the Browns a chance to develop their quarterback of the future.

Katherine Terrell, Cincinnati Bengals reporter: The Bengals had what seemed to be an excellent draft, adding some big weapons on offense in John Ross and Joe Mixon and getting some good value on Day 2 by drafting pass-rushers Carl Lawson and Jordan Willis. However, it’s hard to beat the three first-round picks the Browns were able to select, including the best overall player in the draft in Myles Garrett. The Browns were finally able to cash in on their stockpiled picks by adding safety Jabrill Peppers and tight end David Njoku in the first round as well. The Browns still have a significant hill to climb after winning only four games in the past two seasons. Their draft might not produce immediate results, but they’re setting themselves up well for the future.